Dave Martin began his photographic career at the Lakeland Ledger in Lakeland, Fla., in 1982 before joining the AP as a staff photographer in Montgomery, AL., in 1983. In 2004, Martin was named the AP’s regional photo editor for the South.
At sporting events, he was well-known for always managing to get himself in the perfect position to take the shot of winning athletes dousing their coach with water or Gatorade. Done right, such images capture the flourish of airborne water caught in the stadium lights, but they require great timing and positioning.
Saturday's Iron Bowl marks a renewal of one of college football's longest rivalries when the Alabama Crimson Tide hosts the Auburn Tigers this Saturday, Nov. 29, 2014, at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Last year's game was considered one of the best in the rivalry. With the game tied, on the last play of the game, Alabama opted to attempt a game-winning 57-yard field goal. It fell short and Auburn's Chris Davis fielded it nine yards deep in his own end zone and ran it back 109 yards for a touchdown and a 34–28 Auburn win. Dave Martin immortalized the play with an iconic photo that ran in dozens of publications as well as on the cover of Sports Illustrated.
On Jan. 1, 2014, Dave Martin died from an apparent heart attack, collapsing on the Georgia Dome field after working the sidelines at Texas A&M's 52-48 win over Duke in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl. He was 59-years-old.
Martin shot nearly every major news event in the South over the past 30 years, taking memorable images during Hurricane Katrina, the Gulf oil spill and the tornadoes that sliced through Alabama in 2011. He also traveled around the world for the AP, covering Super Bowls, Olympics, Ryder Cups and other sporting events, as well as political conventions, and conflicts in Afghanistan, Haiti and Iraq.
He won national journalism awards for images including one of golfer Phil Mickelson celebrating his 2004 win at the Masters and another of people bracing themselves against 90 mph winds next to an upended house in Key West, Fla., during Hurricane Georges in 1998.
We remember Dave ‘Mullet’ Martin with some of his best images.